Ensemble, Housing Competition, Le Rolliet, Geneva Switzerland

Ensemble / Together

The project is intended to illustrate the social and collective dimension of an apartment building located in an ambitious area such as the new Rolliet district. As a result, a passageway traffic typology was chosen. The choice of the passageway responds not only to the need to have a flexible plan and to offer different sizes of apartments, but also to this desire to “live together” which, when the necessary elements are put in place, increases the quality of life and the well-being of its inhabitants.

Thus the passageway space is not only satisfied with being a pleasant circulation and a potential extension of the apartments on the outside, but also offers a series of expansions on each floor to offer crossing “open-air rooms”, always benefiting from a balcony overlooking the heart of the islet. In order to reduce the feeling of large scale and repetition on the facade, a dialogue between passageways and balconies is part of the facade in a game of alternations.

On each floor, the passageway changes orientation and is thus sometimes on the park side, sometimes on the street side. This typological game is possible thanks to the presence of this crossing “common room” which connects the vertical circulation from one facade to the other.

In this way, the apartments are served by double-height passageways. The impression given is that of an urban street, where from the passageway you can see the balconies of the upper floor, reinforcing the urbanity of the building and a feeling of a “pedestrian street” on each floor.

Directly linked to the exterior vertical circulation and the passageways, the shared spaces are free of appropriation by the inhabitants. Connected to each other, they also constitute an alternative route to rapid circulation by lift and closed stairwell. The project therefore offers a double circulation: vertical and fast for some, a contemplative and meeting walk for others.

However, this corridor typology requires some attention in the management of thresholds and landings, and the various transitions that bring residents from the “more public” (the street) to the “more intimate” (the bedroom). Thus, a series of successive sills and expansions is set up to allow these transitions.


The urban implantation encourages the development of through typologies which make it possible to offer each apartment a view on both the “courtyard” side and the “garden” side.

The crossing typology in the passageway proposes to organize the rooms on a grid of two, on either side of the apartment, forming a series of 4 rooms easily available in 2 and 3 or 5 and 6r.

Inside the apartments, the kitchen and bathrooms are placed on a central grid, thus making it possible to position the day rooms on the square or street side according to the preferences of the tenants and the position of the passageway.

Live together

The ENSEMBLE project questions the place that housing has taken in our everyday lives. Faced with an exceptional situation, most of us were forced to transform our apartment, make it more flexible, manipulable into a place of work, relaxation, life, or study over the course of the same day.

These astonishing metamorphoses make us aware of the importance that our homes have in our lives, and of the impact of room layouts and their possible multi-uses on our experience of space. The bias chosen for this project offers great flexibility of use and development to the inhabitants.

The passageway distribution system as proposed allows first of all great flexibility in the distribution of the type of apartment per floor, while also allowing everyone to be offered a direct relationship with the outside. The wider passageway in front of the entrances and day rooms allows everyone to make it their own as they wish. Thus, it can be both a terrace, entrance threshold, winter garden, waiting room or living room extension.

In the same way, the external spatial expansions around the open vertical circulation can be both simple clearances to the outside and views of the park, or pretexts for meetings and group social activities between neighbors. This generous circulation also encourages residents to take the stairs rather than the elevator. It also reduces the feeling of urban density which can sometimes be felt negatively.